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More than 600 compete in 5K run

About $1,700 raised for each Hart high school

Posted: July 5, 2008 12:58 a.m.
Updated: September 5, 2008 5:03 a.m.

More than 600 runners competed in the Independence Day Classic 5K on Friday morning in Newhall. The run started at Hart Park.


As the cool morning temperatures soared into the 90- and 100-degree range on the Fourth of July, up to 600 runners kicked off their celebrations of America’s birthday with the Independence Day Classic 5K race, hosted by the Santa Clarita Runners.

The overall male winner was Stephen Kent and the overall female winner was Karis Frankian.

Carl Pantoja, race director, said the event, currently in its 26th year, served as a fundraiser for the six local Hart district high schools. And while the final numbers were not tallied, Pantoja estimated that each school would receive a $1,700 donation.

The 5K and noncompetitive 5K had the same amount of runners when compared to previous years, but Pantoja noticed an increase in the number of youngsters who took part in the Kids’ K Fun Run.
“There are more kids than before,” he said.

The races took place in the streets of downtown Newhall, giving the participants a little extra boost from the parade spectators who cheered them on.

“For a 5K, it’s not usual to have so many people cheering,” he said.

After the race, participants gathered at Newhall Park to cool off until the Fourth of July parade began.

Debbie Crockett was fresh off her morning jog with around 10 of her family members who are in town for a family reunion.

The Newhall resident said it was her third time competing in the annual event.

While the hot temperatures made it tough to run, she called the event “great” and “patriotic.” “It’s encouraging people to get into shape,” she said.

The race even drew a crowd from surrounding communities like Fillmore and the Antelope Valley.

Clay Patten of the Antelope Valley based High Desert Runners called the race a “good check for your fitness level.” It was his third time at the event.

With the Independence Day Classic 5K behind him, Patten said he was going to spend the rest of his day back in the Antelope Valley barbecuing with friends and watching the fireworks at night.

Victoria Kirshner took part in the race with her father, Shawn, for the first time.

The pair from Saugus said they have been training together and decided the Independence Day Classic 5K would be their first race together.

“It was really fun and it got a little bit hot,” said 9-year-old Kirshner, as she sat with her dad, mother Elizabeth and 6-year-old brother Blake in the park.

Elizabeth said the father-daughter duo saw people they knew along the route, who cheered them on.

But even people they didn’t know still offered words of encouragement as they called “go 280!” referring to Victoria’s number on her shirt.


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